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Excessive Tanning Good or Bad?

By , Fair Haven, NJ
You emerge from the tanning bed with a dark beautiful glow. Your skin sparkles. You feel like a model, a supermodel! All of a sudden your confidence sky rockets. I can do anything, you think. But a few years later, you go to the doctor because your skin has changed. Now you’re not exactly sure what has happened to your once beautiful skin.

After a few years of that ‘right off the beach’ look, your skin will start to age…prematurely. This means that your face and body will be covered in things that you don’t want at all. Not only will you get wrinkles, but you will also have age spots and moles. In addition, you have increased your chance of getting skin cancer all because you wanted that “beautiful tan”.


Even though many people know about the risks of tanning and tanning beds some people choose to ignore the risks. Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma and Basal Cell Carcinoma are the most common types of skin cancer you are at risk of from using tanning beds. There has been a 75% increase risk of Melanoma, according to Skin Cancer Foundation due to excessive tanning. Why do people continue this practice? Fifty-nine thousand people are diagnosed with Melanoma each year and seven thousand people die every year in America from Melanoma. Why not try to prevent the increase risk by not using tanning beds and protecting your skin when you are out in the sun?


Exposure to UV rays is only a part of the problem when it comes to tanning beds. The Skin Cancer Foundation has stated that tanning beds have become addictive. Many studies have said that tanning is a sign of behavioral dependence. This means that people think that once they start, they have to continue no matter what. Once someone gets a tan they think it’s healthy or fun, and obviously that’s not good. UV rays cause our bodies to make endorphins which make people feel good. Also in recent studies, it has been proven there can be a physical addiction to tanning. Some people suffer from UV Substance Related Disorder which causes people to tan more. People with SRD tan 20 times more per month compared to people without SRD.


By the time a child is eighteen, they have received 80% of their lifetime UV radiation. In Columbia, Maryland they banned tanning beds. Dermatologists and experts on cancer said tanning beds were bad for your skin before the Howard County Board of Health in Maryland. This law was passed to protect residents eighteen years and younger.


Now that you have damaged your skin by over tanning, you can’t enjoy the beach. Instead of sitting on the beach with sun tan lotion like you used to, you’re covered in clothes from head to toe. I’m just wondering now if you still feel like a supermodel.





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ThisLitIsBananas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 3, 2010 at 4:24 pm
Good article, and definitely a completely valid point. I myself have made a vow to never ever lie in a tanning bed. Oh, and just wanted to point out a tidbit: even if you lie in a tanning bed JUST ONCE in your lifetime, your chances of getting melanoma increase by 75%! Incredible, right?
 
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